“How do I know what my first goal/priority should be with a new start-up”

“Me and my friend are starting a bags and backpacks line. The idea is to make fashionable items for men that travel often. Businessmen, travelers, sportsmen. Of course we don’t have the money to hire a marketing agency and this is our first personal endeavour.

Personally I’ve read a lot about marketing and start ups. I really like it. Subreddits like this one are that pushed me to go beyond my 9-5. I’ve read a lot, like I said, so I know that a successful marketing strategy is based on a specific goal. But what should be my first goal or priority: brand awareness? generate leads? sales?

I guess awareness leads to leads, leads leads to sale; so starting from generating awareness is startingfrom the beginning?” 

 Original Reddit Post

This was a question that was asked on Reddit and I think this is a great time to talk about marketing strategies in terms of bootstrapping for a startup company. More often than not when starting a company the most important aspect is to make sales of course and create brand awareness. Generally the entrepreneur is on a budget and still trying to validate their business model here are some tactics I employed when I launched my own start up Native American clothing line with extremely little funding.

In the beginning I relied heavily on social media to generate brand awareness. Primarily instagram I found it extremely useful for what I was trying to accomplish since in my opinon facebook is too saturated with companies already. At first I would hashtag what I thought were relevant keywords and then incorporated the free instagram analytics program Iconosquare. This program gave me insight into my instagram marketing campaign and let me know which specific hashtags were performing well along with my top followers, best times to post, which types of media were performing the best.

Secondly, once my instagram hit roughly 300 followers I started doing research on how various growth hacking techniques and stumbled upon followliker. This program used bots to crawl through social media profiles based on a set criteria of keywords. This allowed me to grow my instagram from 300 followers to over 1800 people fairly quick. I know this is not a huge amount but it got me a page in a magazine and I was able to funnel traffic to my ecommerce website.

Lastly, I used bigcartel which has several pricing options including a free website as well. This allowed me to sell products for free without a substantial investment in the beginning. I also incorporated google analytics to get greater insight into where my traffic was coming from so I could better tailor my social media campaigns as well.

All in all brand awareness = leads which = sales. You can not get leads without brand awareness at first and social media is a great resource to begin with. I managed to launch a clothing line with a small investment of $300 or so and a lot of hardwork. Anything is possible.

( I would highly recommend checking out Iconosquare and followliker) 



Post Launch of my start up clothing line *Lineage Clothing*

I developed a concept for a start up clothing line I call Lineage Clothing. It is a Native American owned and operated clothing line paying tribute to Native American design and concepts. I started the company with very little money and through hardwork and a tremendous amount of research I found a lot of very useful tools to assist with the business opertations and production of my products.

  • Instagram- A wonderful social media platform which allows me to showcase my designs and hash tag relevant items to segment my market and determine who may be interested in my products.
    • followliker- while this software is not free it is a one time payment of roughly $49 which allows me to automate my instagram marketing process. Thereby specificying certain criteria the software will go through instagram and like photos based on certain hashtags and follow other users within those similar critera allowing me to essentially mass market sort of.
  • MailChimp- While the advanced version of this software cost money I used the free basic version to structure an email marketing campaign and even though I did not get the response I wanted it wsa a great learning expierence and overall wonderful idea to implement contest and various promotions.
  • Bigcartel- The basic version of bigcartel is free which allows me to showcase and sell the T-shirts I have designed for free. I can even track which shirts get how many clicks.
  • Iconosquare- formely known as statigram this software provides me with much needed analytics of who my top engager’s are and when are the best times to post on my social media platforms. This is not only free but a wonderful and much needed software application I would recommend to anyone.
  • Theprintful- finally possibly the most costly aspect of my company is paying upfront to print shirts. Fortunately the printful deveopled their business around printing to order and offering samples for extremely cheap. This company allows me to offer a diverse set of products with no cost upfront.

So far I have learned a lot from this business venture and look forward to seeing how far I can take it. I recently got offered a spot in a Native American magazine and I am talking to retailers and looking at getting funding to grow my company.

Check out some of my work and be sure to visit my website to show your support : lineageclothing.bigcartel.com


Lineage Blackhawks T-shirt

lineage pattern6 shirt